Into the Spider-Verse 2 Promises More Hidden Diversity

Black and purple background with Miles Morales Spider-Man's black costume and red spider logo.
The Color Purple 2023

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse’s” hidden diversity lives both on- and offscreen. When a production has a diverse cast and crew, the content created is much more likely to represent diverse groups of people. Both in the cast and in production, many TCKs worked in influential positions. 

Phil Lord, the writer for the screenplay of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Phil Lord, the writer behind both the storyline and one of the authors of the screenplay, is the son of a Cuban mother and an American father. His experience as a cross-cultural kid has clear impacts on his work as his work often reflects hidden diversity similar to his own. Lord is a rumored producer for the second “Into the Spiderverse” film, heading to theaters in 2022.

Gage Skidmore, the voice actor for Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

The film follows Miles Morales, the latest Spiderman to enter the MCU’s canon. Morales is voiced by Shameik Moore, an Atlanta, Georgia, United States native with Jamaican heritage. Moore’s portrayal of Morales provides the film’s most visible character with hidden diversity: Morales’s mother is Puerto Rican and his father is African-American. Throughout the film, he is seen balancing cultures, including speaking Spanish with his mother. Moore’s role provides a glimpse into what life looks like as a cross-cultural kid and how having hidden diversity can affect every aspect of one’s life. With the “Spiderverse” sequel having been announced, the spotlight on hidden diversity is likely to continue with both recurring and new characters.

Comic Book History

Many a youth have taken up the mantle of Spider-Man. But exactly is the webslinger behind the mask? Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced comic book fans to a plethora of realized Spider-Men (and woman) on the silver screen.

Miles Morales Spider-Man slinging through Brooklyn, New York.

Image courtesy of Newsarama.

Miles Gonzalo Morales was first discussed a few months before the 2008 United States election of Barack Obama. His first comic book appearance was in Ultimate Comics: Fallout #4, published on August 2011, in which Miles foils a murder by Kangaroo.

When we were planning ‘Ultimatum,’ we realized that we were standing at the brink of America electing its first African-American President and we acknowledged that maybe it was time to take a good look at one of our icons.

Alex Alonso, then-editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics.

This new Spider-Man was intent on replacing Peter Parker only in the Ultimate Marvel comic universe, where Marvel’s trove of superheroes was reimagined for the 21st century. When Marvel’s editorial staff concluded Peter Parker’s storyline and fate in “Death of Spider-Man,” Miles Morales was officially created.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli were heavily influenced by African-American actor and musician Donald Glover. Pichelli designed Spidey’s new outfit, mostly black with red webbing and a red spider logo.

Artist Sara Pichelli showing the first sketch of Miles Morales.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

This Afro-Latinx teenager, born and raised by an African American father and a Puerto Rican mother in Brooklyn, New York City, acquires his superhuman powers from a spider bite at his uncle Aaron’s home. Later, Aaron is revealed to be a career criminal. Miles’ father, Jefferson, explains to him that before he was born, Aaron and Jefferson were conspiring thieves who ultimately spent time in prison.

Jefferson reformed as time passed, now having to raise a teenager through high school homework and puberty. However, his brother did not.

This gives Miles inner turmoil as he’s forced to navigate through a family member’s criminal behavior and past, and the uncle he looks up to.

The theme is the same: With great power comes great responsibility. He’s going to learn that. Then he has to figure out what that means.

Brian Michael Bendis, writer for Ultimate Spider-Man.

Musical Endeavors

On the soundtrack for ‘Spider-man Into the Spiderverse’ it features many different artists with different music styles such as Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Anuel AA, Ty Dolla Sign, Lil Wayne and more. Released by Republic Records on December 14, 2018 the album features the hit song ‘Sunflower’ with Post Malone and Swae Lee.

Hip hop soundtracks have been in this year with other movies like Black Panther, Superfly and Creed II, all featuring a wide cast of rappers with different flows adding that extra bit of culture in their own ways to the movies.

Along with the soundtrack you’re familiar with for the movie, the mastermind behind the original score of the movie is an Englishman named Daniel Pemberton. Daniel is a multi-Golden Globe, Emmy and Bafta Award-nominated composer. He has written scores for studio films such as Ocean’s 8 and King Arthur: Legend of The Sword.

Photo of Daniel Pemberton, the mastermind behind the original score of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Image Courtesy of Billboard.

You can stream the album on Spotify, AppleMusic, IHeartRadio and other major streaming services.

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